Skip to main content
Adobe Photoshop Family

8 Messages

 • 

530 Points

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 4:03 AM

Closed

Solved

Photoshop CS5/Lightroom: brush cursors not working on 2011 Mac/MacBook Air (OS X 10.7.x Lion)

I'm running CS5 version 12.0.4 on a 2011 MacBook Air and the brushes do not work when resized between approx 300 - 650 in size. I don't know if this is a bug but the issue occurs in Lightroom as well. Please advise when an update will be issued to fix this. The software is pretty much useless to me with this issue affecting it.

Responses

Official Solution

Adobe Administrator

 • 

15.1K Messages

 • 

288K Points

9 years ago

Apple has released an update for OS X (Lion). Please update OS X to 10.7.3. (Apple menu>Software Update...) It should fix this issue. Let us know if you are still having any issues.

Sr. Product Manager, Adobe Digital Imaging

3 Messages

 • 

100 Points

Fixed it! There's still a slight blip for me at a certain brush size when cursoring through with [ and ], but it's for a split second and it auto-corrects itself quickly. Photoshop is usable again!

Adobe Administrator

 • 

15.1K Messages

 • 

288K Points

Excellent. Thanks for the update/confirmation.

Sr. Product Manager, Adobe Digital Imaging

18 Messages

 • 

302 Points

After six months of waiting this bug is fixed for me. Thanks for the advice!

4 Messages

 • 

102 Points

at last! Thanks now i have confidence in Apple back.
Keep on working in the spirit off Steve Jobs!
gr. Mart the Netherlands

1 Message

 • 

60 Points

Did the update and still the problem persist on 27"iMac w/ PSE.

4 Messages

 • 

90 Points

Same problem still here.

15.1K Messages

 • 

195.8K Points

Apple does not appear to have fixed all of the driver problems in 10.7.3.

Please let Apple know about the remaining problems, and which specific hardware still has problems.

946 Messages

 • 

13.8K Points

9 years ago

What does "do not work" mean specifically?

8 Messages

 • 

530 Points

9 years ago

When you increase the brush size to 300 to 650, the brush itself disappears. It turns back into regular mouse icon that does not even align with the strokes that you make on the screen.

15.1K Messages

 • 

195.8K Points

So it's just not displaying the cursor correctly? Ok, that's a bug in the video card driver, and Apple will have to fix the driver. Hopefully that's specific to the MacBook Air.

8 Messages

 • 

530 Points

Exactly Chris. The brush cursor just disappears at different sizes. I hope they hurry because it isn't usable as is.

5 Messages

 • 

102 Points

I too suspected the video card driver but the brush in Illustrator works fine. In LR and PS, the ouline of the brush tip stays the same for a range of sizes, resulting in an diagonal offset of the painted stroke to the outline.

8 Messages

 • 

530 Points

Is Apple quick about fixing this sort of thing? I just got the new Air and I love it other than this issue but it will really hinder my design work not being able to use brushes.

15.1K Messages

 • 

195.8K Points

Photoshop and Lightroom use the Cocoa APIs, but not exactly the same code for cursors. Yeah, this is a video driver bug. There's no way both programs would have the same bug.

Apple is sometimes quick, and sometimes not. The more customers tell Apple about the problem and ask for a fix, the higher priority they'll put on it.

8 Messages

 • 

530 Points

Now I'm a bit confused. I took it into the Apple Store today and reported the issue with them at the Genius Bar. They seem to think it is an issue with compatibility with Lion rather than their hardware drivers. Could this actually be the case? I'd consider this good news because I have no problem wiping this thing out and downgrading to Snow Leopard. I'm not going to do it if it will be a waste of time though. What do you think?

8 Messages

 • 

530 Points

Well scratch that idea. Apparently the new Macbook Air's require Lion to support the hardware. This is really frustrating! If it is truly an OS compatibility issue, can't a software update fix it?

15.1K Messages

 • 

195.8K Points

Yes, Apple can fix it with a software update. But the bug is somewhere inside their video drivers, and we can't fix it from the application side.

5 Messages

 • 

102 Points

the 'genius people' are useless- last time when I was investigating whether it would be possible to 'downgrade' back to SL (in my opinion rather an upgrade, experiencing the mess in Lion) with my new MBA 2011, they had no clue that there might be issues of missing drivers for thunderbolt etc..., so yes, scratch this idea- we are stuck with beautiful Lion!

5 Messages

 • 

102 Points

9 years ago

same here- with both, LR3 and PS CS5 on a MBA 2011 (11"). Is it Lion or anything MBA specific?? No clue. I un-/ re-istalled various apps, activated/ deactivated preferences related to display resolution, trackpad, mouse, pointer etc. without any success of changing the brush behaviour back to normal.
Without having the chance to reinstall the whole OS- I wait for the USB-stick version of Lion- I feel stuck...

2 Messages

 • 

112 Points

9 years ago

Ligthroom 3.4, MacBook Air 13" 2011, Mac OS X Lion

The brush tool (shortcut k) does not work. Symptoms:
- the cursor changes to the zoom in cursor, instead of the brush cursor. The erase brush cursor is the zoom out cursor.
- the brush does not paint where the cursor is display, but further down and further right.
- the cursor jumps all over the place making the feature unusable.
- the issue still exist when using a mouse instead of the trackpad.
- works well on an iMac using a trackpad

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Adjustment brush is unusable on a MacBook Air 2011 (10.7 Lion).

5 Messages

 • 

102 Points

9 years ago

Ok, the OS update today (10.7.1) didn't take care of that yet...

3 Messages

 • 

84 Points

9 years ago

similar problem in the liquify filter...wonder if apple did any test with Adobe CS before major system "upgrade". The problem is just too obvious that you can't avoid seeing it.

Champion

 • 

5.8K Messages

 • 

102.6K Points

I think it's fairly unlikely that Apple do any serious testing with third party software. And Adobe's options are fairly limited, even with access to beta OS builds, as things often change between Apple's betas and final releases.

Hopefully Apple will take care of their bug soon, but it may be worth making some noise on Apple's own forums in the meantime.

18 Messages

 • 

272 Points

9 years ago

With respect you all have it around the wrong way. Adobe should be making sure Photoshop works with Lion. If it does't it's likely that Adobe has done some funky things in the programming and Apple is just forcing Adobe to comply.

BTW I have the same cursor issue and really need it resolved.

15.1K Messages

 • 

195.8K Points

Well, I'm pretty sure you've never written software before.

Adobe made sure that Lightroom and Photoshop worked with the available versions of the OS when their software shipped. Adobe made sure that they worked with the APIs published by Apple. Adobe did everything by the book. Adobe couldn't guess that somewhere years later that Apple would break the video driver code. That's like buying a new car and guessing exactly when and how you'll get a flat tire 2 years later.

Apple made a mistake in Lion for some video cards/GPUs. And it turns out that Apple has a lot of mistakes in their GPU driver code -- different mistakes on several different GPUs. Adobe can't easily work around those. Apple has to fix the mistake in their code.

Now, Adobe did test Photoshop and Lightroom with Lion. But could Adobe guess that Apple would have different bugs on all sorts of different hardware configurations? Probably not. And there are too many possible combinations to test them all completely. Adobe reported a lot of bugs to Apple during the Lion beta test phase, and Apple fixed many of those before shipping Lion. But Apple doesn't write perfect software. Apple does have bugs in their OS, and Apple needs to fix those bugs so that all software will work correctly.

We're documenting the cursor issue (and several other graphics driver bugs) so Apple can fix it. It's obvious enough that Apple probably already has a couple of similar reports and might already be working on a fix.

16 Messages

 • 

216 Points

BTW, your lack of tact, arrogance, and sheer shitheadedness remind me of dealing with Quark.

16 Messages

 • 

216 Points

Is that really your reply, as an employee? Let me state it how you have.

I'm pretty sure you have never been good at customer service, been a working pro who needed something accomplished rather than finger pointing, or been successful in developing friendships or romance.

Now, could I have guessed that an Adobe employee would be such an jerk? Probably not, there are just too many possible ways not to be, but.. Adobe clearly doesn't have perfect employees. They do however have jerks in their corporation and they need to fix those so people can get proper support.

18 Messages

 • 

272 Points

9 years ago

Hello Chris- Your first comment is gratuitous and easy to ignore. You make some good points in the rest of the message. However, my main point was simply to say that the "blame" for this problem can't be just one-sided. Do you really think Apple is writes the video drivers when the hardware comes from third-party vendors like AMD/ATI and Intel?

It cannot be good for Adobe to have a flagship program like Photoshop not work properly on the Mac platform so the company should be highly motivated to get it right, which they have not. Lion has been seeded for a long while and there aren't actually many types of video hardware Apple uses in their current line-up (check their web site). How hard can this be for two big companies to solve?

I don't care who is to blame. I just want a fix for this problem as soon as possible. If this doesn't happen I will be looking for alternative image editing software that works with Lion.

15.1K Messages

 • 

195.8K Points

The first comment is important. You really don't know programming, how OS vendors establish and support APIs, how OS vendors make mistakes, how OS vendors must fix their mistakes, etc. You seem to have some mistaken impression that application authors have to change their code every time the OS coders make mistakes. That would be like expecting Toyota to change the design of their cars for every new pothole in the road.

AMD/NVidia/Intel give Apple some video driver code, which Apple further modifies and integrates. Apple is also responsible for the APIs that call into the driver code and can cause issues like this one. Even if the bug was in the GPU makers code, it ships with the OS, and Apple is responsible for that.

As far as everyone can tell, Adobe got the code right. But Apple made a (more than one) mistake in Lion and needs to fix it. I don't know how hard this is for Apple to fix, because I don't have their code to find the cause of the bug. But I do know that it would take Adobe a huge amount of work to bypass the OS driven cursor.

We are trying to work with Apple to get this, and many other, Lion bugs fixed as soon as possible. But we cannot set Apple's priorities, and we cannot fix Apple's code for them. If you want bugs in MacOS fixed sooner, please let Apple know that you want them to fix the bugs sooner.

16 Messages

 • 

216 Points

Third party vendors often make mistakes too, of course everyone thinks they are infallible. It's not outside the realm that this is a multi party bug - and with years of coding you should be able to see that.

An appeal to authority/masses of 'as far as everyone can tell, adobe got the code right' is not a valid point. Who is everyone and when did they get your proprietary code to review? Where can I see the report from someone not employed by either company which isolates the issue?

The bottom line is John hit the nail on the head. Customers paying large sums for the software don't want finger pointing, they want solutions. Apple, Adobe, AMD, Nvidia all need to get together to figure it out.

Which actually brings up a relevant point - are nvidia users having this issue - has that been reported. Two different gpu vendors with this problem would basically cut them both out of it and leave it for Adobe and Apple to sort out.

15.1K Messages

 • 

195.8K Points

Yes, third parties can make mistakes - which is why we researched the problem to see if we could do anything about it. We found that it only happens with a certain OS/hardware combination. We found that the problem is reproducable in multiple applications that do not share code. We found that the OS APIs involved return no errors and have no dependency on the size of the cursor from the applications side. And there is no reasonable way to work around the bugs in the OS APIs/drivers.

Thus, Adobe can't do much about the bug in Apple's drivers and has to wait (along with all the other developers and users affected by this) for Apple to fix the bug in their drivers.

You aren't getting finger pointing from Adobe. We're helping you diagnose and understand the problem. Now that we know more about the issue, we understand that the problem is outside of the application developers' control and we all have to wait for Apple to fix their bug.

16 Messages

 • 

216 Points

You missed my point. Companies employ QE testing procedures and adhere to them exactly. If that procedure is flawed one cannot then realistically assume said software is sound.

Whilst that may not be the case in this instance it is a real issue. As such statements made like 'everyone agrees' should really be conditioned with who exactly tested and what those findings were - if not detailing the test methodology. Your response would indicate to a casual viewer that third parties had been involved with the diagnosis, which is not the case. I can think of a great many instances where Adobe was/is to blame.. such as the recent flash kerfuffle and loss of ability to select advanced options within Lion.

15.1K Messages

 • 

195.8K Points

QE has nothing to do with this (well, except Apple's).

"everyone" in this case would be Apple and Adobe engineers. I would assume that the engineers on other products affected by the same driver bug would also probably agree.

You're still trying to blame the wrong party, despite all evidence that this is indeed an Apple driver bug.

16 Messages

 • 

216 Points

Chris, I think you once again haven't even taken the time to read what I wrote. You missed the entire point.. again. Let me recap.

You stated something like 'everyone agrees' without qualification = true
I stated that companies have strictly adhered to testing procedures - if the procedure is flawed that can create issues finding bugs = true
I stated that may not be the case in this instance = true
I suggested you may want to quantify results rather than speaking in generalities such as 'everyone agreed' - opinion

I made no blame assignment. Your QE most certainly can have something to do with bugs getting through (whether this was an instance or not). You should not appeal to the masses or authority when seeking to explain a position, without further detailing who those cited are.

Hopefully you understand what I am saying this time. Additionally, you seem to enjoy confrontation for some reason.. and antagonizing the people paying for your product, presumably because your being 'right' is more important.. even when you are clearly not paying attention to what is being written. Very very odd mentality.

2 Messages

 • 

74 Points

This is not lion specific it is MBP early 2011 specific - which basically means the video card itself. I have a mac pro running lion and I never bump into this issue like I do on my mbp. There's no way to remedy it once it happens. you have to start fresh with a new file. stupid.

197 Messages

 • 

4.1K Points

9 years ago

I have reported this issue to Apple. If/When I hear anything from Apple that I can share I will update this list.

5 Messages

 • 

152 Points

My problem was merged into this one, it is exactly the same as the others, but i seem to be the only one using a Macbook Pro in here... Just to see if this is the correct queue for me?

6 Messages

 • 

102 Points

I'm using a Macbook Pro and I'm having this problem. You are not alone.

5 Messages

 • 

102 Points

9 years ago

Guys! Today I just added a second external display to my setup (via USB) and the brushes/ eraser etc work again in both PS and LR!! I can see that at the critical values the ghost ouline of the brush jitters a little bit but keeps centred and keeps the right size!! Maybe the second external display slows down the update/ refresh rate or something similar... I hope that helps in fixing what was the reason in first place for that misbehaving brush outline...

1 Message

 • 

62 Points

9 years ago

I purchased a new MacBook Air (with Lion) two weeks ago. I transferred all my Applications (including PSCS5) from my iMac to the Air, using Migration Assistant.

I’ve encountered a nasty problem with CS5’s brush. The usual circle cursor abruptly switches to an Apple Arrow cursor and the pixels affected by the brush action are not at the arrow’s tip, but off to the right and down.

I’ve failed to find a cure.

I un-installed the Wacom Tablet Driver, ran Disk Utility to repair disk permissions. Then un-installed CS5, then re-installed. Cursor adamantly switches from circle to arrow.
Am I doomed ?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Brush Cursor Problem.

3 Messages

 • 

84 Points

Exactly the same problem, very tedious... try switching to the smaller brush size somehow bring back the circle.

16 Messages

 • 

216 Points

Using the keyboard shortcuts remedies the issue in a pinch, but it's not ideal or 100%. You can change brush sizes with [ and ]

18 Messages

 • 

272 Points

I use the keyboard shortcuts and this reproduces the problem for me.

1 Message

 • 

60 Points

9 years ago

I am also having this problem. In my case, it happens in CS5 (photoshop especially) and also in Apple's Aperture—although it's the smaller brush cursors that cause a problem. All my brushes smaller than 82 pixels (81 pixels and below) have this problem. The cursor is offset from where it applies the effect and it does not show it's bounding circle. Driving me nuts!

Happens on my 13" i7 Macbook Air. It does not happen on my 2010 Macbook Pro.

6 Messages

 • 

134 Points

9 years ago

It happens in Photoshop Elements 9 & Pixelmator if I zoom multiple times. Sometimes it hoses things up so much that you can't click on any menu items and have to quit via the dock. I've put it in as a bug in Apple feedback. I suggest everyone else do the same.

18 Messages

 • 

302 Points

9 years ago

Same Problem on my brand new Mac Mini Server Mid 2011 with Lion preinstalled. I can't use Brushes larger than 500-600px diameter :-(. It uses the same integrated Intel HD 3000 GPU like MacBook Air 2011 or MacBook Pro 13". For me it seems to be Problem of the Intel HD 3000 Videodriver.

Same problem with Photoshop Lightroom 3.4 Brushes